If you live or work at NewBridge on the Charles, one of Hebrew SeniorLife’s continuing care retirement communities, chances are you’ve noticed Irving Backman. Every morning, regardless of weather, Backman laces up a pair of Saucony sneakers, grabs his handheld radio and begins his daily run around our campus.
“I run in blizzards, ice storms and heat waves. I suppose the only thing that stopped me was not rain, but floods, when water is more than two inches deep.”
During the school year, NewBridge on the Charles resident and artist Gladys Sklar devotes one morning a week to one her favorite activities – volunteering as a classroom aide to art teacher Erica Smiley at the Rashi School on the NewBridge campus. She opens the classroom door to the greetings of children calling “Gigi!” as they reach for her hand to lead her towards their latest project.
It’s a highlight of Gladys’ week and makes her feel “really fantastic to have them so look forward to me coming to their classroom.”
This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times.
On March 9, we marked the formal opening of Hebrew SeniorLife Hospice Care with a presentation by Dr. Jerome Groopman that articulated the essential Jewish values of love and hope at the core of our endeavor. We came together to express our gratitude to the generous donors who made it possible and the exceptional hospice team who care for our patients.
At Hebrew SeniorLife communities, we believe friendship has the power to help our residents live healthier, happier lives. Our communities are hubs for many different types of friendship, friendships forged through common hobbies, experiences and along gender lines.
Friends are a precious commodity for us all, but especially for seniors. The love and companionship we enjoy with our friends make our lives emotionally richer, and research now shows that our friends can be powerful allies in helping us increase our longevity. For instance, data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Aging has shown that people age 70 or older with active social lives live 22% longer than those with less active social lives.
The other day I sat in with a group of older adults who had recently moved into a senior housing complex. They talked about the emotional dynamic of transitioning to a new living environment. They spoke of loneliness, fear of change, and sadness at the loss of their former homes.
Lynda Bussgang is the Multigenerational Program Manager at Hebrew SeniorLife, responsible for overseeing and developing multigenerational programs for all of Hebrew Senior Life’s senior housing communities.